"But Jesus answered, 'Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?' "And he said to them, 'Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.' "Then he told them a parable: 'The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops? Then he said, I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.
"But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?
"So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.'"
- Luke 12:13-21 (NRSV)
I've noticed that in almost every community I encounter on my journey, there are "storage units" being built. These are for folks who simply have so much "stuff" that they can't fit it all in their home.
Now, I can see the need for these if a person or a family is in transition and needs some temporary extra space as they move from one home to another. But, my guess is that much (perhaps most) of these storgae units are for folks who have simply gathered more than will fit comfortably in their homes.
What a strange world in which we live!
The rich man in Jesus' parable simply had too much, and needed extra storage space. This is a concept foreign to much of our culture; we are taught that one can never have too much.
Part of the problem, of course, is discerning what is of real value and what can be discarded. Certainly, people and relationships are what truly matter. And, we all have some precious mementos which we would find it difficult to discard...photos of family or friends, cherished editions of the Bible, old love letters, Beatles records...the list can go on.
I am convinced that we all need a certain measure of the spiritual gift of discernment. As disciples of Jesus the parable-teller, we need to discern what truly has value and what can be discarded. This is true not only for our material life, but our spiritual life as well. What "stuff" have I collected through the years in my heart, in my spirit, that I simply need to discard? I don't need more storage, and if I can get rid of things which don't matter too much, I have more room for love...for grace...for compassion...for Robyn...for Jesus.
My prayer is that I can go on to perfection and learn to "travel light" as I continue on this journey of faith.